Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has touted the achievements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, saying despite the global crises, the Akufo-Addo administration’s record is unmatched.
Ghana’s economy was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected global supply chains and also put a burden on public finances. Just when the economy was steadily recovering the war between Russia and Ukraine hit fertiliser and grain prices, among others and increased the prices of commodities back home.
Inflation and debt levels globally hit an all-time high as countries scrambled to cope with the impact on lives and livelihoods. In Ghana, inflation increased from 12.9% in December 2021 to 54% by December 2022 with an attendant depreciation of the Ghana cedi by 30% in 2022.
Speaking at the NPP international women’s conference in the UK on Saturday (June 10), Bawumia said but for these two major external forces, Ghana’s economic outlook would have been enviable.
“We have been able to deliver as a government, unprecedented in many regards in the history of Ghana, while recognising at the same time there is always room for improvement. We have not had it all rosy and delivered everything that we set out to do from our day of initiation into office. But the setbacks notwithstanding, we have produced a solid track record of achievements,” Vice-President Bawumia said.
“These crises (COVID and Russia-Ukraine) came at a time when we were yet to fully recover from some major challenges we inherited. We inherited excess energy capacity payments resulting from power purchase agreements entered by the previous government. I said last year, and the World Bank has also recently pointed out the reckless nature and the catastrophic implications of these contracts. Under these PPAs we have been required to pay some US$1 billion annually for power we did not consume over the last six years.
“The combined effects of these phenomena blighted an economy that grew at an average rate of about 7% between 2017-2019. Our debt became unsustainable and the government had to undertake a domestic debt restructuring and seek IMF support to stabilise our economy,” he added.
Vice-President Bawumia said the government has solved and is also in the process of resolving over 100 debilitating problems it inherited from the John Mahama administration. Some of the problems include low GDP growth, declining agricultural production, high bank lending rates, rapid exchange rate depreciation, limited local processing of cocoa, unemployment, bureaucracy and corruption in clearing goods at the ports, difficulty in collection and payment of property taxes, lack of vehicles and equipment for security agencies, students unable to access senior high school education among many others.
He thanked President Nana Akufo-Addo for giving him the opportunity to “initiate and or oversee the implementation” of many problem-solving policy initiatives for the problems listed above.
He mentioned some of the solutions as:
The introduction Zipline Drones for medical supplies
o The announcement that Ghana was the first African country to implement Mobile money Interoperability between bank accounts and mobile wallets.
o The announcement that Ghana was the first African country to implement a Universal QR Code payment system.
o The announcement that the Ghanacard to be used as a travel document for passengers traveling to Ghana from abroad.
o No guarantor student loan policy with the Ghanacard
o The announcement that mobile money interoperability will make it possible for all adult Ghanaians will have a bank account.
o The Free SHS policy
o The Free TVET policy
o The Digital Property Address System
o Sinohydro Bauxite barter agreement
o One constituency one ambulance
o Zongo Development Fund
o Gold for oil programme
o Creation 2.1 million jobs in the last six years
o Construction of the Elmina Fishing Harbour
“When you look at this tall list of achievements, one cannot but admit that they are monumental! Let nobody tell you that we don’t have a message for 2024! I must hasten to add that this does not mean we have done everything we intended to do or ought to have done. There is clearly a lot more to do and we will work hard to do more,” Vice-President Bawumia told the gathering.
“It is important to note that many of the transformational policy initiatives that we have introduced since 2017 are being done for the first time since independence and most have benefited women! What is interesting is that because many of them have not been done before, many people shackled by a mindset of impossibility have argued that they are not possible, but we made them possible,” Bawumia said.
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